10 Fascinating Facts About Hester Shaw in Mortal Engines (2018)

Mortal Engines, both a popular novel series by Philip Reeve and a film adaptation released in 2018, introduced audiences to the captivating character of Hester Shaw. Hester Shaw is a central figure in this post-apocalyptic world, bringing her own unique story and personality to the forefront. In this article, we will delve into 10 fascinating facts about Hester Shaw, exploring her background, motivations, and the talented actress who portrayed her in the 2018 film.

1. Mysterious Appearance:

Hester Shaw's most distinguishing feature is her disfigured face, bearing a long scar that stretches across her visage. This scar became a defining aspect of her character, symbolizing her past traumas and the resilience she has developed as a result.

2. Tragic Origins:

Hester Shaw's backstory is marked by tragedy. As a child, she witnessed her mother's murder at the hands of Thaddeus Valentine, a prominent historian in the Traction City of London. This horrific event fuels Hester's deep-seated desire for vengeance throughout the story.

3. A Woman of Determination:

Despite the hardships she endures, Hester Shaw displays unwavering determination. Her intense drive to avenge her mother's death propels her actions, pushing her to take risks and face formidable adversaries.

4. Skilled in Combat:

Hester Shaw possesses formidable combat skills, honed through her experiences in the post-apocalyptic world. She becomes an adept fighter, proficient in hand-to-hand combat, wielding weapons, and navigating treacherous environments.

5. The Alliance with Tom Natsworthy:

Hester's journey intertwines with Tom Natsworthy, an archaeologist from London Traction City. Initially at odds, they form an unlikely alliance as they uncover a sinister conspiracy that threatens the entire post-apocalyptic world. Their partnership develops into a complex and poignant relationship.

6. Emotional Vulnerability:

Despite her hardened exterior, Hester Shaw harbors emotional vulnerability. Her traumatic past and desire for revenge create internal conflicts that shape her interactions and decisions throughout the story. Her character arc involves grappling with these emotional complexities.

7. Search for Identity:

Hester embarks on a personal journey to discover her true identity. Her scar and tragic past conceal secrets that gradually unravel, revealing her connection to a larger, world-altering truth. This quest for self-discovery adds depth to her character and fuels her motivations.

8. Love in a Desolate World:

Amidst the chaos and destruction of the Mortal Engines universe, Hester Shaw finds herself unexpectedly entangled in a romantic relationship. This emotional connection challenges her perspective on vengeance and forces her to confront her internal conflicts.

9. Symbol of Empowerment:

Hester Shaw stands as a symbol of empowerment in Mortal Engines. Her determination, resilience, and refusal to succumb to despair inspire those around her. She embodies the strength to rise above circumstances and fight for a better future.

10. Legacy and Influence:

Hester Shaw's impact extends beyond her individual journey. Her actions and choices shape the events that unfold throughout the Mortal Engines series, leaving a lasting legacy on the world she inhabits. Her courage and determination inspire others to challenge the status quo and fight for their own destinies.

Portrayed by Hera Hilmar:

In the 2018 film adaptation of Mortal Engines, Hester Shaw is brought to life by the talented actress Hera Hilmar. Born in Iceland, Hilmar has gained recognition for her compelling performances in both film and television. Her portrayal of Hester Shaw showcases her versatility as an actress, effectively capturing the character's strength, vulnerability, and determination.


Hester Shaw's character in Mortal Engines is a captivating and complex figure, driven by a desire for justice and fueled by her tragic past. Her scarred visage and emotional depth make her a memorable protagonist, while her strength and resilience inspire readers and viewers alike. Through her journey of self-discovery and the alliances she forges, Hester Shaw leaves an indelible mark on the post-apocalyptic world of Mortal Engines, with Hera Hilmar's portrayal adding depth and authenticity to the character.

Mortal Engines - Official Trailer

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